One in six Belgian independents denied coronavirus relief
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One in six Belgian independents denied coronavirus relief

Credit: Belga

Social security funds have rejected 80,506 applications for coronavirus relief so far, L’Echo reports on Saturday, quoting figures from the Minister in charge of independent contractors, Denis Ducarme.

This represents one in six applications, Ducarme said. In addition to the rejections, the National Social Security Institute for Independent Contractors, INASTI, has referred 303 files for further investigation.

INASTI’s Fair Competition Directorate has also set up a Coronavirus Fraud Cell which, by cross-referencing data, has identified another 584 applicants that only registered as independent contractors to benefit from support measures.

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“Social security funds are, in fact, conducting checks to prevent any abuses or identify cases that do not meet the criteria,” Ducarme stressed.

The allowance granted by the Government to provide relief to independent contractors and businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, known as the “droit passerelle,” amounts to €1,614 for independent contractors with families and €1,291 for the others.

A total of 371,429 such allowances were paid out for March, 384,192 for April and 351,497 for May.

The Brussels Times